I didn’t really want to go.  Kristia and I had been invited to a conference in Reno some time ago.  Lots’s of special arrangements had been made for us to attend, in fact we were one of a handful of pastors invited to attend this leadership event for pastors.  I hadn’t been feeling well, I didn’t want to miss another week of preaching this year, I didn’t know anyone where we were going, it was on the other side of the country, blah, blah, blah. The reasons why not to go seemed to be growing.  But early last Monday, I really felt like God wanted me to chill out, and trust Him on this one.  No more whining, complaining, kicking, screaming, just go.  And we did.

I’m home now, its 8:30 and Kristia is out like a light, and I’m not far behind her.  The last four days have been jam packed.   We’re tired.  But refreshed.  We saw Lake Tahoe, Napa Valley, San Francisco, and ate at In & Out Burger.  All of that was great, but we had the opportunity to meet a host of people, that I know will forever impact our lives.  People who don’t hide behind their doors, but open them wide so others can experience the love of God that is resident in their houses.  We met  pastors who, like us, have experienced seasons of deep loneliness in ministry.  Men of influence in their circles, pastoring churches 10 times larger than ours, but they took time to look Kristia and I in the eyes, and say “you matter.” One pastor in particular, instantly walked into our lives speaking words of hope and encouragement, addressing things that only Kristia and I had discussed in private.  Like a spiritual father, this man pulled us close to him in prayer, declared Scriptures over our lives, and spoke life into our destiny.  Then on Sunday morning we walked into a church on that literally blew our socks off with honor.  While most pastors would be hiding away in their office collecting their thoughts the last few precious minutes before their worship service, this pastor sat with us, asking about us, our church, our lives, and offering words of exhortation.  We weren’t guest speakers, just “visiting pastors” but the people of this church, man, they treated us like royalty.  I’ve never felt so honored and humbled all at the same time.  Four days of “we believe in you,” “we honor you,” “what can we do for you?”

You know what’s funny?  I didn’t know how bad I needed that, how bad WE needed that.

puzzle_pieceI’ve come home encourage, and refreshed with a renewed sense of purpose & direction.  I’ve returned with a greater confidence in “Christ in me.”  I’ve come home realizing some pretty significant pieces were missing in the puzzle of my life, and since I know what they are, I can see the big picture a little more clearly.

Here’s the lesson I learned from this experience:  God’s a whole lot smarter than I am.  He already sees the big picture of my life, in fact He painted it.  So I need to chill out more, and let Him, lead my life.  Whine less.  Complain less.  Stop kicking and screaming, and just roll with whatever seems to be in front of me in the here and now.

What we are going through right now, may be a key piece of the puzzle that needs to be put in place for us to see the big picture.

Have you been kicking and screaming?  Complaining and fussing?  Maybe God has allowed our paths to cross today, simply to tell you to chill out.  He’s up to something.

He may just be about to put a big missing piece of the puzzle in place in the big picture of your life.

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